A report from Statistics Canada issued on Monday reveals that in 2009, while the Canadian TV broadcasting sector’s operating revenues increased by 0.6% from 2008 for a total of CDN$6.5 billion, it was the lowest year-on-year increase since 1997. Furthermore, public and private conventional broadcasters in Canada saw revenues fall 3.9% from 2008 to $3.4 billion in 2009, the biggest decline in 10 years. That number is augmented by the decline in revenues for private conventional TV – according to the report, it suffered a 7.7% drop in operating revenue from 2008, the largest annual decrease in 30 years. Losses for that segment amounted to $113.4 million last year.
The numbers are better for the pay TV and specialty channel segments, with pay TV reporting a 16.6% increase over last year and specialty channels reporting a 3.3% increase, for a $3.1 billion revenue total for the two segments, as well as a profit margin of 23.5%, and a rise in operating profits from $648.2 million to $728.7 million. Still, revenue growth in those two areas has been decreasing over the last few years: StatsCan reports that their year-over-year increase was $230 million in 2007, $200 million in 2008 and $175 million in 2009.
Last but not least, ad revenues for Canadian TV broadcasters suffered their first decline in 15 years, falling 8.4% to $3.1 billion in 2009. Also for the first time in several years, ad revenues accounted for less than half (47.8%) of the industry’s total revenues. A decade ago, ad revenues represented close to 60% of the total revenues for the television sector.